Chocolate, the beverage of Kings

There are some places in Oaxaca City where, by instinct, we take a deep breath with our eyes shut and a strong and sweet smell moves something inside us that instantly forces a big smile in our faces: the chocolate stores.

We all know that amazing flavor of chocolate but, few have asked themselves where this addicting flavor comes from.

Chocolate, named after the Nahuatl word "Chocolatl", was the beverage of kings. It was also the currency in times of trading before the colonization.

The origins of chocolate

Under the cool shade of the evergreen forest in the backdrop of Sierra Madre, the cocoa tree and the coffee plantations are part of the living treasure of the tropical jungle. The Mazorcas, a papaya-alike fruit of the cocoa tree, hang from the log. Squirrels bite these cobs and feed from the juicy and messy fibers that cover the coca beans. Local growers just cut off the cobs and break them to get the beans in order to dry them. Then coca beans are put into bags and carried to the city.

Grinding cocoa

Cocoa beans are grinded at the Moliendas where it becomes a paste. The flavor of chocolate depends on the amount of sugar that is added. Most grinders add three kilos of sugar for each one of cocoa beans. Also, they add cinnamon or nuts which enrich the flavor.

Chocolate beverages

Chocolate can be enjoyed cold or hot. Some people boil water or milk and add chocolate bars mostly in winter when the weather is cooler. Many enjoy it in bars. Tejate is elaborated with cocoa and corn. It is also an ingredient of Mole.

Exportation quality

In most cases in Oaxaca State, the cocoa is grown organically, without chemicals, so it is a product of exportation and a local industry which many families benefit from.

The tasty flavor of the beverage of kings, another piece of the complex multicultural mosaic, a must delight for visitors in Oaxaca.

Travel Guide Exploring Oaxaca

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